Spain’s top diplomat appeared frustrated with Spanish politicians who challenge Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya has debunked pro-Polisario allegations from some Spanish political parties, who claim that Spain has the authority to intervene in Western Sahara.
In a written parliamentary statement that sought to clarify Spain’s position on the Sahara conflict, Gonzalez Laya affirmed that her country has been “detached from any international responsibility” relating to the administration of Western Sahara since February 26, 1976.
“The Spanish government has definitively terminated its presence in the territory of the Sahara,” she said, stressing that Spain has no say in the issue.
In her letter, Laya responded to a question about Western Sahara from Spanish politicians Ines Sabanes Nadal and Inigo Errejon Galvan.
Laya emphasized that neither the UN Secretary-General nor the UN Security Council mention Spain in their reports and resolutions on Western Sahara, proving that Spain has no ties to issue, nor the authority to intervene.
The top Spanish diplomat also reiterated her country’s official stance on the Western Sahara issue: “Spain does not recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.”
Laya’s response came following a series of claims that Morocco-bashing Spanish politicians have made, urging their government to intervene in the Sahara dispute and recognize the separatist Polisario Front’s self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
The diplomat’s letter appeared to reflect her frustration with the repetitive calls from Spanish politicians urging her department to intervene in the issue.
“The official Spanish position on the Western Sahara issue is constant and has not changed,” Laya declared. “Spain does not recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.”
Several Spanish political parties, such as Vox and Podemos, are known for their anti-Moroccan rhetoric, especially including their hostile discourse on Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces.
The Spanish government, however, is well aware of the importance of Morocco as a strategic partner.
In recent weeks, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and Foreign Minister Laya have all spoken highly about relations with Morocco, using a very pacifist discourse.
Spanish officials also regularly express their frustration with politicians who attempt to harm Spain’s bilateral relations with Morocco.